Author Archive | Michael Poandl

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Review: ‘Brother Mario’ at Flying V Theatre

At first consideration, there doesn’t seem to be anything particularly Chekhovian about Mario, the iconic red capped plumber whose mustachioed visage has been imprinted on the mind of every casual gamer since the days of the arcade parlor. But ah, what about the endless boredom of Princess Peach and her sisters, forever incarcerated by Bowser, […]

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Review: ‘Fucking A’ at Iron Crow Theatre

There is so much than can be talked about when it comes to Suzan-Lori Parks’ 2000 riff on The Scarlet Letter, the half-jokingly entitled Fucking A. There is the unsettling setting, the surprising music, the original language Park invents called “Talk”… and then there is the “A” itself, branded on to the protagonist Hester Smith, […]

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Review: ‘Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?’ at Ford’s Theatre

A sampling of the audio from the packed house should serve as ample description for Ford’s Theatre’s stunning new production of Edward Albee’s Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?: raucous laughter, groans and sighs, the occasional sharp intake of breath. Director Aaron Posner delivers a Virginia Woolf that is as gut punching, razor sharp, and pitch […]

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Review: ‘King Ubu’ at Pointless Theatre Company

The season of giving? Joy to the world, peace on earth, and goodwill towards men? By the time the first snowflake actually falls, the holiday schmaltz can be as cloying as the Macy’s fragrance department a week before Christmas. Luckily for all of us Scrooges, there is a devilishly perfect antidote: Pointless Theatre’s bawdy, whooshing, […]

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Review: ‘Little Thing, Big Thing’ at Solas Nua

The DC premiere of Donal O’Kelly’s Little Thing, Big Thing, playing now at Solas Nua performing at Flashpoint Mead Theatre Gallery, is an impressively entertaining dark Irish comedy. A cast of two (the hilarious Sasha Olinick and the divine Nanna Ingvarsson, respectively) portray a dozen characters each during the course of this crackerjack crime thriller. […]

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Review: ‘Eurydice’ at NextStop Theatre Company

The hypnotic new production of Sarah Ruhl’s Eurydice at NextStop Theatre Company is more like a painting or a poem than a movie or a book. It’s a fantastical canvas of broad brushstrokes and bright colors. The language is strange and pretty, the kind that gets stuck in your head like a catchy pop song. […]

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Review: ‘An Iliad’ at Taffety Punk Theatre Company

Surprisingly little greets the audience as they enter the intimate black box space at the Capitol Hill Arts Workshop where Taffety Punk Theatre Company makes their home. Set, Costume, and Prop Designer Crista Noel Smith provides us a black floor below, hanging wires above, and a smattering of glass bottles filled with sand and water […]

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Review: ‘Rock the Line’ at Venus Theatre Company

In the program note for Rock the Line, Playwright Kathleen Warnock describes her new play as, “Kind of like Waiting for Godot, if Godot really came and played electric guitar.” As it turns out, this is actually a pretty accurate sentiment. As in Beckett or Chekhov, nothing much happens in Rock the Line, at least […]

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Review: ‘Garbage Kids’ at Venus Theatre Company

The new play Garbage Kids by Baltimore-based playwright Jayme Kilburn, now receiving its world premiere at Venus Theatre Company, is a cleverly plotted emotional booby trap. The first act is a series of slightly absurdist episodes that showcase moments from the young lives of the two main characters, Belly (Jay Hardee) and Scuzzy (Deborah Randall). […]

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Review: ‘War of the Worlds’ at Scena Theatre

Orson Welles’ 1938 radio broadcast of War of the Worlds is infamous for having incited a mini UFO panic due to its vivid and realistic descriptions of a fictitious Martian invasion. The iconic actor and director Welles used techniques that were, at the time, groundbreaking: “interrupting” the musical interludes in a way that mimicked actual breaking […]

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Review: ’12 Angry Jurors’ at St. Mark’s Players

There is probably no clearer distillation of classic American courtroom drama than Reginald Rose’s 12 Angry Men. The classic tale of a seemingly cut-and-dry murder case turned upside down by a lone dissenting juror has been captivating audiences since its debut as a television special in 1954. Rose adapted his teleplay into a script, and […]

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Review: ‘Wild Sky’ at Solas Nua

Exactly one century ago, on Easter Week 1916, Irish nationalists staged uprisings in Dublin and some surrounding areas in defiance of centuries of British rule, and in particular their conscription in the faraway and bloody trenches of World War I. The thousand-odd “Irish Volunteers” (who, after Independence in 1919, would be known as the IRA) […]

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Review: ‘Hugo Ball: a Dada puppet AdveNTuRe!!/?1!!?? at Pointless Theatre Company

The whooshing, passionate ride that is Hugo Ball: a Dada puppet AdveNTuRe!!/?1!!?? – an original piece by DC’s perennial enfant terrible, Pointless Theatre Company – masquerades as a simple biography of the titular German artist. Ball, along with his wife Emmy Hennings and a rogues gallery of other Modernist iconoclasts, coined the term “Dada” at […]

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